BBC Bach Marathon Was a Hit

Classic Arts News   BBC Bach Marathon Was a Hit
 
The BBC's 10-day marathon of Bach last month was a success, the London Guardian reports.

BBC Radio 3 does not have listenership figures for the marathon, which included all of Bach's surviving works, because ratings are not calculated for the Christmas period. But the radio station's web site, which includes streaming audio, received a record 3.1 million page views during the marathon.

The station got approximately 2,000 emails commenting on the marathon, of which more than 90 percent were positive, controller Roger Wright told the Guardian.

Meanwhile, local sales of Bach CDs doubled, according to Tony Shaw, a classical music buyer at the record chain HMV.

The Bach marathon follows broadcasts of the complete works of Beethoven over several days in June 2005 and of Webern's briefer oeuvre on one day in September. The "Beethoven Experience," as it was called, also included free downloads of all of composer's symphonies from the BBC web site—an offer that proved tremendously popular with listeners but angered record companies, who feared that it would hurt sales of CDs and paid downloads. As a result, the BBC did not include downloads in the Bach marathon.


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